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Monday News: Analysis of Amazon Prime’s value, National Book Critics Circle Awards presented, sexual abuse allegations against YouTube/DFTBA musicians, and Hasbro opens contest for new Scrabble word

Monday News: Analysis of Amazon Prime’s value, National Book Critics Circle...

Is Amazon Prime Worth Another $20 a Year? – For those of you still on the fence about whether to spend that extra $20 on a(bother) year of Amazon Prime, this video walks through the numbers (at least the ones that are known) and some of the major issues that should play into the personal analysis (what you buy on Amazon, for example). One interesting figure is that there are apparently 18.7 million American Prime members, which means that a $20/year per account increase (and, by the way, this is the first price increase since the service began in 2005) translates into $374 million more a year for Amazon. –Wall Street Journal

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wins US National Book Critics Circle award – As the only only US book prize left that is judged by book critics, the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Awards were presented last week, and the big winner was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. The non-fiction award went to Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial, which focused on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A full its of winners is available at the NBCC website.

Americanah, which has also just been longlisted for the Baileys women’s fiction prize, alongside titles by Evie Wyld, Elizabeth Gilbert and Booker-winner Eleanor Catton, had previously found favour among US book reviewers. The New York Times called it “witheringly trenchant and hugely empathetic, both worldly and geographically precise, a novel that holds the discomfiting realities of our times fearlessly before us”, and the Washington Post said it contained “a ruthless honesty about the ugly and beautiful sides” of the United States and Nigeria. –The Guardian

Sexual Abuse Allegations Rock YouTube Community – DFTBA Records, founded by Hank Green (brother of YA author John Green) and Alan Lastufka, is involved in yet another sexual abuse scandal, this time focused on Tom Milson and Alex Day, two of the YouTube musicians DFTBA handles as part of its YouTube-based music production and merchandise manufacturing company. As if this situation wasn’t complicated enough, the Green brothers run YouTube vblogs featuring DFTBA artists, including Day, and there is a suggestion made in another blog that John Green knew about some of these concerns regarding Alex Day and warned some of the girls away. Sadly, these are not even the first such accusations against DFTBA artists.

The events of the past few days have sparked a conversation about consent, healthy fan-creator relationships, and online safety in the YouTube community. Online microcelebrity is hard to monitor: it involves relatively tight-knit and virtual communities that connect individuals to one another with very little outside intervention. YouTube is an intimate, informal format that fosters close personal relationships between creator and fan. This can be a good thing, as exemplified by the online charity collaboration Project for Awesome. But it may also make for an abusive atmosphere. –NYU Local

Scrabble Contest Seeks New Words – On a happier note, Scrabble is capitalizing off of March Madness to provide fans with the opportunity of getting a new word into the Scrabble dictionary. You have until March 28th to nominate a new word. Details at Hasbro’s Facebook page.

Contest officials will choose 16 words to face off in a March Madness-style bracket, with fans voting for their favorite. The winner will be announced on April 10 and included in the next edition of the Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, to be published in August. –New York Times

Friday News: Scribd’s most downloaded books, Amazon Prime’s price increase, what sexual assault victims were wearing, and Microsoft and Nook renegotiate

Friday News: Scribd’s most downloaded books, Amazon Prime’s price increase, what...

The Most Popular Book in Each of the 50 States – So the first caveat here is the results are limited to Scribd downloads, which makes the results both narrower and more interesting. Alabama, for example, was Lisa Kleypas’s Midnight Angel, Missouri, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Tennessee, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max, and in Texas, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.  –Parade

Amazon raises price of Prime membership to $99 – For anyone who joins Prime after March 20th or renews an exiting Prime membership after April 17th, the cost will now be $99, instead of $79. Since Amazon originally floated the possibility of a $40 increase, this almost seems like a bargain, and since Prime members spend more money at Amazon (well, duh), it’s definitely a long-term win (again) for Amazon. Not to mention all of us Prime Members who will likely buy even more stuff to justify that extra $20 (suckers that we are). Seriously, though, Amazon Prime has to be one of the best advertising strategies of all time.

“Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same. If you consider things like inflation and fuel costs, a Prime membership valued at $79 in 2005 would be worth more than $100 today,” she said. –USA Today

Sexual Assault Survivors Answer The Question “What Were You Wearing When You Were Assaulted?” – MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING! I’m not even going to quote any of this piece, it’s so heartbreaking and infuriating. Still, it’s always important (albeit sadly necessary), to battle the bullshit ‘women are asking for it’ insinuations. –Buzzfeed

Microsoft and Nook redo their agreement; no Microsoft e-reader in the works – So apparently it’s official now, and the expected Microsoft digital reading device is now dust in the wind. Or, more properly, merely an ereading app. I admit to being kind of excited by the idea of an Office Reader App, which apparently is in development, but it appears that Nook is the real winner in this deal, at least in terms of the way it will continue to deliver digital content via Nook ereaders and Windows Phones.

Here’s exactly what the 8-K says:

“Pursuant to the Amendment, NOOK Media LLC (“NOOK Media”) and Microsoft agreed to co-branding within the Microsoft Consumer Reader for reading content delivered by NOOK Media. The Amendment also provided that subject to certain conditions NOOK Media would be permitted to discontinue distributing the NOOK Windows app and will cooperate in good faith with Microsoft to transition users to the Microsoft Consumer Reader. Microsoft and NOOK Media also agreed to updated revenue sharing to address this possibility. The Amendment also permits NOOK Media to cease efforts with respect to a Windows phone app.” –ZDNet